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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Female circumcision in Muslim and non-Muslim African communities: ideology, practice, and prevention
Author:Morgen, A.J.
Periodical:East African Journal of Peace and Human Rights (ISSN 1021-8858)
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:female circumcision
human rights
Islamic countries
Abstract:This article evaluates the ideological and procedural differences and, when appropriate, commonalities of female circumcision (FC) in Muslim and non-Muslim communities in Africa. It also considers the way in which these differences determine the efficacy of outreach, advocacy, and preventative initiatives. Previously, efforts to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) have been ineffectual by applying a uniformed plan of action across all practicing communities. Human rights defenders need to understand that supporters of FC are not 'bad' people. They are trying to help their young females lead a successful life by making them culturally marriageable or ensuring they follow a perceived religious mandate. By previously stigmatizing the procedure and its supporters, activists have done themselves a great disservice by essentially closing lines of communication with the very people they are trying to educate. Recent successes in lowering the rates of FC in North Africa indicate that this damage is not irreparable and that if human rights defenders approach their work with cultural understanding and strategies specifically designed for the community of people with whom they are working, there is hope for eradicating female circumcision in all the African Muslim and non-Muslim communities alike. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]